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The Irony Of Loving Unconditionally

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Authored by Jackie Acosta in Relationships
Published on 11-17-2008

If love is unconditional then why is it that giving too much is harmful in a relationship? If true love is giving without expecting anything in return, and real commitment is loving until it hurts, then why is it that when one practices this kind of affection, he is actually falling in a trap?

When in a relationship, a dedicated partner demonstrates his loyalty and commitment through little sacrifices or grand gestures or both. The main objective is to make the other party feel special, valued and appreciated. But it happens though in the course of pleasing consistently, the recipient become too accustomed to the spoiling that the small things given up for their sake becomes a standard, a gesture that seizes to have value. And by getting used to attention, they demand for greater and grander gimmicks to stay happy.

The idea behind giving without expecting anything in return becomes harmful in the long run as the appreciation level decreases over time. As one continues to receive, they may forget to give back. But the generous party cannot demand for anything in return technically as doing so might make their sacrifices seem insincere. If one means what he does, then he will not even think of what’s in it for him. He also can’t enumerate the things done as this means he is counting his efforts. This is the trap. The more one gives, the more is asked of him. Sustaining the love now becomes a bigger challenge.

When one loves until it hurts, and takes the blows without complaining, then the person becomes a martyr with little self-respect for allowing to be treated that way. But a dedicated person will not easily quit and resort to giving more to the relationship. As he does, the other one will tend to lose respect for the partner for being incapable of fighting for her right. Another trap. The more hurtful things one allows to pass, the more pathetic one will seem to the other. For being the nice guy, he will be taken for granted.

If one doesn’t give enough though, there’s a danger of complacency, disinterest, and fall out from either side, whoever feels short- handed first.

Loving just enough is the ideal, but the problem is determining what the right amount of affection is. Does it mean that efforts and sacrifices shouldn’t be done consistently? Does it mean that small things to show ones love should be given in trickles? It’s hard to tell. The truth of the matter is it depends on the partner and the situation. Ideally, when one gives, the other acknowledges and gives back too. But in the real world, not all gestures are reciprocated. So the smothering has to be controlled until it is missed. When finally the other party notices the absence of the usual attention, this appreciation is the trigger that it’s time to shower with affection ones more.

In essence, going all in at all times is not the best way to keep the fire burning. On the contrary, holding back helps to make the magic last as it gives time for efforts to be appreciated.

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